If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support. If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.
For people who are experiencing distress or despair.0808 808 8000
Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.0800 1111
If we have a mental illness it can sometimes be hard to find the time or energy to look after our physical health. Sometimes our medication can cause physical side effects like weight gain or diabetes.
But our mental health can be affected by our physical health. For example, moving our body can make us feel calm and improve our mood. On the other hand, drinking alcohol or not getting enough sleep can make us feel worse.
A healthy diet can give us more energy and help us think more clearly. Watching our sugar intake can help us feel less anxious and irritable. Eating healthily doesn’t have to cost a lot. Rethink has some information on eating well on a budget.
Physical activity can help improve our mood and lower the risk of physical diseases. It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. We could walk quickly, dance to our favourite tunes or even do some gardening. Rethink has some information on how we can be more active.
Sleeping badly can affect our mental health – and our mental health can sometimes make us sleep more or less than we need. Have a look at this information on improving our sleep.
Lots of us smoke to help us cope with mental illness. Cutting down or quitting smoking is one of the best things we can do for our physical health. Smoking can also change the effects of some antipsychotic drugs. Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.
Don’t have too much caffeine. We find caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate and some energy drinks and cold remedies. Although it can be helpful to wake us up in the morning, caffeine can make us anxious and irritable. It can also affect our sleep. Try and keep an eye on how much caffeine you have. Most of us find it helpful to cut down, especially in the late afternoon and evening.
Alcohol and drugs can make us feel good in the short term but they can affect our mental health and sometimes lead to long-term problems. If we have a mental health problem and difficulties with drugs and/or alcohol, we might have a ‘dual diagnosis’.
Visiting health professionals can make some of us nervous. But it’s important to keep up with health checks - especially if we take medication or have a long-term condition like diabetes. We might find it helpful to tell the doctor we are feeling nervous, or take someone with us.
Find out more about local doctors, dentists and podiatrists (foot doctors) here. Learn more about health checks and looking after your teeth, eyes and feet.